ASLO hosted a panel discussion of international collaborative research programs at the 1997 ASLO meeting held in Santa Fe, NM. While there are many programs among various agencies which promote international collaborations, it is often difficult to identify the appropriate individual, program, or agency for a particular project. The goal of this panel discussion was to facilitate information exchange, and foster discussion about international collaborations and joint research projects. Representatives from the European Commission, U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. Office of Naval Research, and the Inter American Institute for Global Change Research met and described programs and opportunities within their agencies, answered questions from the floor, and participated in discussion of issues raised by panelists and the audience.
We thank the panelists and also:
who could not attend the panel due to other responsibilities, but still provided material for this compilation.
A compilation of information from the different agencies, and web addresses for further information is presented below.
The NSF's Division of International Programs (INT) has the special functions of expanding and facilitating the international dimensions of NSF's mission by promoting new partnerships between U.S. scientists and engineers and their foreign colleagues. Most of these programs are organized on a regional or country basis and opportunities available in certain geographic regions may not be available in others. Therefore, contact with INT staff is strongly encouraged before proposal submission. Prospective applicants should also consider international opportunities supported by other parts of the Foundation and elsewhere.
The following summarizes basic information about funding opportunities outlined in the INT Program Announcement, International Opportunities for Scientists and Engineers (NSF 96-14). Detailed information about these programs should be sought in that document.
The Division of International Programs supports an array of activities designed to provide opportunities for U.S. scientists and engineers at various stages in their careers:
Graduate Students Enrolled in U.S. Institutions:
Postdoctoral and Junior Investigators:
All PhD Scientists and Engineers and those with equivalent experience:
The Division of International Programs also supports research on international aspects of research and technology conducted solely by U.S. investigators or by U.S. investigators in cooperation with foreign partners.
Support of international activities is an integral part of the National Science Foundation's mission of promoting the progress of U.S. science and engineering.
In particular, the Foundation recognizes the importance of:
The Foundation offers several approaches for support of international scientific activities, depending on the objectives of the investigator, as detailed in the following sections.
Consistent with the international character of science and engineering, disciplinary programs throughout the Foundation offer support to U.S. scientists and engineers for the international aspects of their research when those aspects are judged to be important to the specific objectives of those activities. For more information about these opportunities, see the program announcement of the corresponding disciplinary programs. The following opportunities may be of special interest:
Supplements to Awards from NSF's Disciplinary Programs
NSF's Division of International Programs invites inquiries from principal investigators on projects supported by NSF's disciplinary programs about possible supplements to permit postdoctoral investigators, graduate students, and qualified undergraduates to participate in international components of those projects. A list of all NSF programs that provide support for scientific and engineering research and education, with appropriate telephone numbers, is given as Appendix A of the Grant Proposal Guide (NSF #94-2, or subsequent editions.)
Joint Grant Opportunities for Collaborative Research at Foreign Centers of Excellence
NSF's Division of International Programs and Directorate for Engineering awards joint grants to encourage U.S. academic researchers, at the Assistant or Associate Professor level, to consider collaborative research at foreign academic, industrial and national laboratories. Research proposals of a two-year duration will be considered, with the second year of the award supporting a re-entry year at the researcher's home institution. Further information, including detailed proposal preparation and submission requirements, may be obtained from the Engineering Program Officer, (703) 306-1371.
NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science and Engineering
Recipients of these awards are expected to study in a NATO country (other than the United states), or a Cooperating Partner Country in central and eastern Europe, or at neighboring multinational institutions, for periods from six to 12 months. Recipients must have earned the PhD degree in a field of science or engineering supported by NSF by the time they begin their period of foreign residence, or have received that degree within the past five years. For additional information, including application forms and procedures, consult the publication, NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science and Engineering NSF 96-9 Information is also available by calling NSF's Division of Graduate Education and Research Development (703) 306-1696 or by Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSF Disciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowships
Several NSF disciplinary divisions offer postdoctoral research fellowships to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. In most cases, applications to conduct research under these awards at an appropriate foreign site will be considered. For additional information, contact the relevant disciplinary division, as follows:
Since 1991, NSF has supported joint projects in basic research in information technology with the ESPRIT Program of the European Commission. Researchers in the U.S. and in the European Union countries arrange potential collaborations, and submit parallel proposals to NSF and the European Commission, respectively, for review. Projects for funding are selected jointly by the two organizations. U.S. researchers may submit proposals, identified as candidates for the NSF-ESPRIT program, to NSF's Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, or Mathematical and Physical Sciences programs. Detailed information can be obtained by calling (703) 306-1940. The Division of International Programs will provide support for the travel of graduate students or postdoctoral investigators to participate in joint research at foreign sites. For additional information, contact a Program Officer for Western Europe (703-306-1702).
North American Research Fellows Program
Support is provided for U.S. scientists and engineers who have received their PhD within 10 years to visit research institutions in Canada or Mexico, or both, for periods of three to 12 months. The program is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Contact Division of International Programs, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230-0935; Phone: (703) 306-1701, Internet: email@example.com, TDD (703) 306-0090.
Planning Visits and Postdoctoral Fellowships in Eastern Europe
NSF supports two-week planning visits and longer term postdoctoral research fellowships in Eastern Europe (including the Newly Independent States) through the National Academy of Sciences. For information about these programs contact Office for Central Europe and Eurasia, National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418, (202) 334-2644 (phone) or (202) 334-2614 (FAX).
U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation
U.S. investigators contemplating cooperative projects with Israeli counterparts should first explore opportunities for support through the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF). The brochure describing BSF programs is available upon request from the Division of International Programs (phone 703-306-1707).
U.S.-Japan Manufacturing Technology Fellowship Program
One-year internships in Japanese companies for U.S. manufacturing engineers are available through the Department of Commerce. Their purpose is to enable the United States to maintain a competitive edge in the manufacturing arena. Participants must be employed as manufacturing engineers and have three years experience in that capacity. The engineer's U.S. sponsoring company must pay salary, transportation, and incidental expenses. The Department of Commerce provides intensive training in Japanese language, culture, and business practices, and the Japanese host companies provide dormitory housing. For further information contact: Margaret Brown, Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Phone: (202) 219-3358, Fax: (202) 219-3310.
The most recent edition of A Selected List of Fellowship and Other Support Opportunities for Advanced Education for United States Citizens and Foreign Nationals (NSF 93-147) provides summaries of fellowships available from a wide variety of Government and non-government organizations, including eligibility requirements and relevant addresses. Many of these opportunities may be available both in the United States and abroad.
The United States Information Agency (USIA) annual publication entitled, International Exchange and Training Activities of the U.S. Government, summarize the activities of 23 Federal Departments and Agencies that conduct such activities.
The National Science Foundation plays a lead role in well over a dozen international-scale projects and is a major participant in many others. The Foundation provides substantial financial support for these projects and the Foundation's senior management and staff play major roles in shaping, managing, and coordinating the programs in both national and international contexts. The following list illustrates, but does not exhaust, the major international initiatives undertaken or supported by the NSF.
Global Change Research Program
The Global Change Research Program is one of the largest and most extensive internationally coordinated research program ever undertaken. Its three major international elements are the World Climate Research Program, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program and the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Program. The U.S. component of the overall program is about half of the more than $3 billion worldwide effort. The NSF funds about one quarter of the U.S. research effort (not including satellite hardware costs), in fields including the geosciences, the biological sciences, the social sciences and the mathematical and physical sciences. Major programs involving NSF support currently include:
Other Major NSF International Initiatives
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is the national instrument for making strategic investments in Canada's capability in science and technology. NSERC supports both basic university research through research grants and project research through partnerships of universities with industry, as well as the advanced training of highly qualified people in both areas.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council fosters the discovery and application of knowledge through the support of university research and the training of scientists and engineers. The Council promotes the use of this knowledge to build a strong national economy and improve the quality of life of all Canadians. NSERC fulfills its mission by awarding grants and scholarships through a competitive process and by building partnerships among universities, governments and the private sector.
The international section of NSERC's web site is aimed at keeping researchers abreast of the various opportunities that are available for those wishing to collaborate with their colleagues in other countries as well as informing the international research community about NSERC's international activities. NSERC helps Canadian researchers to find new international partners by making information about the research projects it supports in Canada widely available. Information on NSERC's programs and on the research projects (Spring List) funded by NSERC can be accessed from the NSERC webpage. NSERC supports international co-operation through funds granted under its regular programs. The terms and conditions of these awards are sufficiently flexible to permit their use for international collaboration purposes.
NSERC encourages Canadian researchers to collaborate with their colleagues abroad. It has signed bilateral agreements with several countries, which are primarily aimed at facilitating the flow of information between parties. NSERC's regular programs provide funds that can be used to support collaborations under these agreements:
Japanese Science and Technology Agency Fellowships
The Science and Technology Agency of Japan (STA) offers STA Fellowships to promising young researchers from overseas to allow them to conduct research at national laboratories and certain non-profit research institutes in Japan. NSERC is responsible for selecting Canadian nominees for these fellowships. For information about these fellowships, write to:
Scholarships and Fellowships Division
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council of Canada
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H2
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowships
The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) has established the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers. A limited number of promising young researchers are given the opportunity to conduct research in Japanese universities. NSERC is responsible for selecting Canadian nominees for JSPS Fellowships. For information about fellowships, write to:
Scholarships and Fellowships Division
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council of Canada
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H2
Charpak/Vered Exchange Fellowship
The Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Society for the Weizmann Institute of Science has established a 10-year fund to promote interdisciplinary research and enhance linkages between Canada's research community and the Institute, located in Rehovat, Israel. The annual award is named after Georges Charpak, a renowned particle physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the 1992 Nobel laureate for physics, and the Vered family of Ottawa, philanthropists and supporters of biomedical research. The Charpak/Vered Exchange Fellowship provides a supplement ($20,000 - $25,000) to a researcher's NSERC Research Grant to enable him/her to do collaborative work at the Weizmann Institute for a period of six to twelve months. Alternatively, the program enables an NSERC Research Grant holder to host a visiting fellow from the Institute. Researchers in the physical or chemical sciences or engineering who wish to apply their work in the biological sciences are eligible. Detailed information on application procedures is available at university research grants offices.
NATO Science Fellowships
NATO Science Fellowships are aimed at encouraging international exchanges of postdoctoral fellows in the natural sciences and engineering. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) provides NSERC with an annual grant to finance a limited number of awards to recent doctoral graduates from the following central and eastern European countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
NATO Science Fellowships are tenable at a Canadian university that can provide the research facilities and environment appropriate for the proposed research activity. Fellows must work under the supervision of a faculty member who holds an NSERC grant (Research, Strategic, CRD) or Industrial Research Chair at the time of nomination.
Fellowships are awarded for two years subject to satisfactory progress and availability of funds. A candidate may hold only one NATO Science Fellowship offered by NSERC.
Candidates must be citizens of one of the countries listed above and must not be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Candidates must hold, or expect to receive a doctorate by the time the award is taken up, from a recognized university outside Canada, in one of the fields of research supported by NSERC.
Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories
The Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories program provides promising young scientists and engineers with the opportunity to work with research groups or leaders in Canadian government laboratories and research institutions. The number of awards varies according to the budgets of participating departments and agencies.
To apply, submit an Application for an NSERC Scholarship or Fellowship (Forms 200 and 201), which is available from the Visiting Fellowships Office, NSERC, Ottawa, Canada K1A 1H2.
Applicants must have received a doctoral degree in the natural sciences or engineering from a recognized university within the past five years. Applications will be accepted from candidates currently enrolled in a doctoral program at a recognized university; the applicant must expect to complete all requirements for the degree (including the thesis defence) within one year of submitting an application. Awards cannot be taken up until confirmation of completion of degree requirements is received.
There are no restrictions on the nationality of applicants, but awards are subject to a citizenship quota: two-thirds of awards must be made to Canadian citizens or permanent residents. The Department of National Defence can only consider applications from Canadian citizens. Successful candidates who are not Canadians or permanent residents of Canada must satisfy Canadian immigration requirements.
Marine Science and Technology (MAST) is a program for research and technological development of the European Union, managed by Directorate General XII-Science, Research and Development, of the European Commission.
The seas and oceans now represent the new frontier of knowledge and human activity; they also play an essential role in the regulation of the climate. These two aspects are at the heart of the Marine Science and Technology programme, the aim of which is to develop the scientific and technological bases for the sustainable exploitation of marine systems and determine their precise role in global change. Research falls under four main topics, as follows :
Different type of support is possible through MAST-III Program : Shared-cost contracts for research and technological development (RTD) projects, concerted actions for the coordination of national RTD projects, accompanying measures (studies, seminars, conferences, training, promotion of SMEs, etc).
For more information on the Marine Science and Technology Program, visit our Web site at:
For more information on Directorate General XII of the European Commission, visit our Web site at:
In recognition of the importance of a regional approach to the study of global change, seventeen countries of the Americas have signed the Agreement Establishing the Inter American Institute for Global Change Research (May 13, 1992; Montevideo, Uruguay): Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The IAI focuses its efforts on increasing our understanding of global change and its societal implications, while also building the overall scientific capacity of the region. Each country participating in the IAI benefits by the enhancement of regional relationships, establishment of new institutional arrangements, promotion of the open exchange of scientific data and information generated by the Institute's research programs, and the implementation of IAI Training and Education Programs. Furthermore, the Science Agenda of the IAI is consistent with international global change research programs such as the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP), and the International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Programme (IHDP). The IAI thus serves as a vehicle through which the region can contribute to such efforts.
The Institute's Science Agenda reflects environmental issues which affect the physical territories and socio-economic systems of the IAI Member Nations. The region's scientific communities, with the guidance of national representatives, have identified seven research themes and several cross-cutting themes as initial priorities of the IAI:
Cross cutting themes have been identified as:
The IAI is currently supporting about US $6 million of research and organization activities throughout the Americas, and has also initiated a series of scholarship programs that enable students from any IAI country to study global change issues at institutions throughout the Americas. A grant from the Globel Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank for US $3 million is being used to train scientists and students in the use of a common, networked Geographic Information System (GIS) to solve global change research problems.
Paul E. Filmer, Program Director
General: ONR funds science and technology (S&T) that is relevant to the needs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps across a broad spectrum of topics. For example, there has been a long tradition of collaborative research in ocean and atmospheric science with international colleagues. This has been especially true in large field efforts. A key aspect to success of such programs is early contact with ONR scientific officers and a period of planning and coordination. General information on ONR can be found on the ONR home page on the World Wide Web at http://www.onr.navy.mil/. From this home page you can search for topics of interest and information on programs, key organizational elements in S&T, and contact information for scientific officers. You will also find information on principal laboratories and offices such as ONR EUROPE (http://www.ehis.navy.mil/) and ONR ASIA (http://www.itd.nrl.navy.mil/ONRA/).
The two field offices mentioned above are important contact points for both foreign and US investigators seeking to get information on international research and special programs designed to stimulate mutually beneficial international research. Both offices exist to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between the American scientific and technical community and their counterparts abroad. They have dedicated personnel in the area of oceanic and atmospheric science and technology. They have available summaries and reports dealing with specific areas of science in their area of responsibility. Many of these document can be accessed over the Web. These field offices sponsor programs that encourage the exchange of information, facilitate scientific exchange and may partially support workshops, travel, and cooperative research programs.Those ONR investigators involved in cooperative programs abroad can contact the applicable foreign offices for coordination and assistance.
ONR EUROPE is responsible for coordination throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Dr. Alan Weinstein is the Associate Director for Environmental Science. The office address is: Office of Naval Research Europe, 223 Old Marlybone Road, London NW1 5TH, UK (Tel: 44-171-514-4964; firstname.lastname@example.org). This office manages the Naval International Cooperative Opportunities in Science and Technology Program (NICOP) for both Europe and Asia. NICOP is designed to foster international cooperative S&T by providing limited cost sharing. Funds are competitively awarded twice per year. The ONR Europe Web Site has a detailed description of this program including requirements for partners and shared sponsorship.
ONR ASIA is responsible for coordination, cooperation and communication among scientists and engineers in the Asia-Pacific Region. Mr. Hassan Ali is the Associate Director for Ocean Science and Engineering. The office address is Office of Naval Research Asia, Akasaka Press Center, 7-23-17 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan (Tel: 81-33-401-8924; email@example.com. In addition to providing information exchange and assisting collaboration between scientists, the office participates in the NICOP program and can help arrange workshops, scientific exchange and provide some travel grants.
Topics available on Web sites at the field offices include:
In addition to programs managed by the ONR field offices, there are a very limited number of cooperative programs funded through foreign currency accounts. These programs can involve combinations of US and foreign investigators jointly working in the host country. These programs are managed by Dr. Bernard Zahuranec at ONR Headquarters. He may be reached by contacting the overall manager of ONR international programs and field offices, Mr. William J.McCluskey, Office of Naval Research, 800 North Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22217 (Tel: 703-696-6942; firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. McCluskey can also answer questions and provide current guidance on international field office programs.